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Burma Calling

Actually, I am writing to you from Pakistan because there are no stamp dealers in Burma. However, there have been many, many rumors of new stamps in Burma and finally I made a visit to see what is actually happening. The Post Office is in operation and there are meter machines at all major post offices. When you bring letters to be mailed, you pay money over the counter and the clerk affixes a meter. However, the Philatelic Bureau still does exist and they have brought out over the past two or three years, nine different stamps that I was able to see. These stamps are issued as they say “from time to time” and without any prior announcement and without any special arrangement for date of sale. One could well say that these have been brought out almost secretly.
However, those of the new issues that I come across are some of the 1974 definitive stamps (national costumes) which have now been brought out with a change of wordings from Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma TO Union of Burma AND THEN TO THE CURRENT STAGE Union of Myanmar. For these definitives, there are three values. In other words, the same design exists with all three of the above inscriptions on at least three values. All of these nine different stamps are in current use.
In addition, I found out that on 27 May 1990, a commemorative was issued for the State, Law and Order Restoration Council. This is a political issue and is freely available in Rangoon.
Perhaps there are some new stamps from Burma that I have missed but this was all that I was able to find and all of the letters to my friends and relatives in Pakistan from family in Burma over the past four years have shown meters as evidence of postage paid.
Certainly, no one can accuse Burma (new name Myanmar) of over producing stamps or of taking advantage of philatelic sales. The face values are so low and the publicity is so little that I am sure philatelists are not even a second thought when it comes to postage stamps in Myanmar.

This article has been reprinted from Global Stamp News February 1991 – Issue #4

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